Cloud computing is one of the hottest topics in tech circles and it has been discussed so many times that it has become a buzzword. It all started when Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt coined the term at a conference way back in August 2006. Cloud has its advantages, but it is not for everyone, especially if you are a small business.
Small businesses fail miserably when it comes to leveraging the power of cloud computing because of lack of flexibility in business operations, inexperienced staff and basic business needs. Instead of jumping on the cloud bandwagon, they are better off investing in cheap dedicated servers.
In this article, you will learn about seven compelling reasons why small businesses should take a dedicated instead of cloud hosting route.
Whether you use Amazon Web Server, Microsoft Azure or any top cloud solution, it can not match with the level of performance that a fully configured dedicated server delivers. Most cloud providers offer shared network bandwidth and storage while other might offer you more storage but it is slow storage. This means that the performance you will get from cloud will be up and down based on the load.
If there are many users sharing the network and storage simultaneously, you will have to experience downtimes and slow speeds. Thankfully, that does not happen with dedicated servers. With dedicated servers, resources are dedicated only for you, which means that you can experience blazing fast speeds and reliable performance with dedicated servers.
Cloud is famous for its scalability as it let you upgrade and downgrade depending on your business needs. The problem with this approach is that you might be able to scale hardware resources, but the software, applications and business operations might not be ready to scale. When you are using a hosting control panel, your scalability options are limited, but you can easily get over this issue.
Don’t expect your business operations to grow magically just by placing it in the cloud provider’s garden. You will not only have to create application and manage them with scalability in mind to reap the real benefits. Let’s say you are trying to migrate legacy applications to the scalable cloud framework. Such efforts will always result in failure. On the contrary, you can easily do that with a dedicated server as you have full control over it and you can run application of your likings on it.
Believe it or not, cloud will cost you more than dedicated servers. Whether you are a digital design agency or marketing firm who host client’s websites, you might be running popular CMS applications such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. You will also have to invest in a hosting control panel such as Plesk and cPanel.
Moreover, when you analyze the requirements and pre-requisite to deliver reliable performance, you can easily see that dedicated servers offer you a better value for your money. When it comes to disk space, dedicated servers enjoy a clear advantage as most cloud system tends to struggle with large number of sites or heavy load. You can resolve this disk storage issue by forming RAID arrays but that can increase your cost substantially. Throw in bandwidth, control panel costs and cost of different IP addresses and you can easily your cost go up.
It is harder to identify problems with cloud services because their hardware and network is obscure. With other users directly impacting your workload in a shared cloud environment, cloud systems won’t deliver the same performance or transparency that you enjoy with dedicated servers. Even though, cloud providers does their best to create fences around neighbors but unfortunately, those fences have holes that let your neighbors in other premises and can overwhelm a local compute node. This can lead to outages and performance issues. What even worse is that your cloud provider can not identify the problem and do something about it.
One of the common misconceptions about cloud is that it is redundant. It might be in few cases but this is not often true. A single node in cloud environment not more reliable than a dedicated server. The only difference is that in cloud computing a node serve as a commodity server without the storage. This means that if that node goes down, it will take your entire workload with it too. This is same as having CPU, RAM and power supply failure on a dedicated server. What’s even more sad is that in some cases, you will have to build redundancy into your system to make it more reliable.
The problem with cloud is that you are locked into a vendor’s platform. They will make migration so difficult and costly that you will think twice about it. Additionally, when you try to integrate complex services, you will find yourself playing into their hands and this can prove to be costly if the support and service charges tends to fluctuate frequently. What if your business requirements changes after few months? That is why it is important to keep an eye on your migration options when choosing a cloud service provider.
Then there are platform compatibility issues. Let’s say you can created an app to work with Amazon S3 and you want it to work with another object based storage model, you will have to complete redesign it, which is not only more difficult but also costly.
When you go overboard with redundancy, you end up creating a complex cloud infrastructure. Take the example of AWS. It adds layers of complexity that you may not need. Your IP address are not automatically bound to any EC2 instance. Whenever you stop or start that instance, you will have to reassociate your IP address everytime. What’s more, an error can wipe out your EBS storage. Even though, AWS offers tools to get over these issues, you will have to enable them. With a dedicated server, none of these issues exist. Ask yourself questions like, Do you really need to create a complex structure? Will you use it? If yes, then cloud might be a better option but if no, then dedicated server might be a good option.
Which is the biggest reason why you will consider dedicated server over cloud hosting? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.